Behind the Scenes on Aerial Greece

Filmed at 130 locations across mainland Greece and the islands of Santoríni, Mykonos, Delos, Mílos, Andros, Tínos, Náxos, Gyaros, Amorgós, Rhodes, Symi, Kós, Kálymnos, Nísyros, Sámos, Chios, Crete, Skópelos, Hydra, Cephalonia, Corfu, the series was directed by Tile Films’ Managing Director Stephen Rooke (Sacred Sites: Season 1 & 2, Aerial Britain, Aerial Ireland, Saving the Titanic, Waterways).

Filming took place in two blocks, the first in October / November 2019 and the second from July to September 2020. Producer / Director Stephen Rooke said: “It was a great achievement to film the second block in the middle of the COVID-19 pandemic. However, we picked the perfect window to complete the filming, as covid numbers were very low throughout the summer months.”

Tile Films followed very strict COVID-19 protocols for filming in Greece. In all, there were a total of a 120 days traveling and filming. The crew clocked up 16,000 kilometeres (10,000 miles) and met 110 contributors.

The series producers were Suzanne Colwell and Stephen Rooke. Colm Hogan and Roman Bugovskiy were Directors of Photography and Alex Wulf was the Drone Pilot. The series was edited by Jim Dalton, Dáithí Connaughton and Aaron McGurgan. The Audio Mixer was Killian Fitzgerald of Avatar Audio Post-Production. Picture post-production was provided by Outer Limits with Ciara Walsh as Post-Production Supervisor, Eugene McCrystal as Colorist, Rory Gavin as Online Editor and Eric Dolan in charge of VFX. Darragh O’Keeffe, Tile Films Head of Post-Production was in charge of the media workflow and all final deliverables. Music was composed by Giles Packham and Sarah Lynch, with scripts by Niall Murphy and Tile Films Head of Development, David Ryan, who also led the research team. The Narrator for the UK / Ireland version of the series is Bessie Carter and the Narrator for the US / International versions of the series is Eric Meyers. Charlie Smith was Production Manager and the Greek Location Mangers were Argiro Delizona and Maria Powell. The Production Assistants were Michelle Mc Camley, Meg Elwood & Megan Murphy.

‘Aerial Greece’ was produced by Tile Films Limited for Smithsonian Networks with the support of Section 481, Ireland’s Film Corporation Tax Credit. Stephen Rooke was Executive Producer for Tile Films Limited. Charles Poe and David Royle were Executive Producers for the Smithsonian Channel.

Fun Facts / Anecdotes about the Production:

  • Crew of 6 including ‘Fred’ our Drone (Fred nicknamed by crew).
  • The series was filmed in 6K UHD using the latest drone technology.
  • Five drones on location at all times.
  • All the filming was outdoors and Aerial.
  • Drone technology has revolutionised documentary making allowing access to areas not easily discovered.
  • Fred and the crew filmed deep within Greece exploring diverse regions and difficult to access areas due to dense forests, peaks and volcanoes.
  • The crew trekked, sailed, climbed, crossed and flew the length and breadth of Greece.
  • COVID-19 Protocols were put in place by the Tile Films Covid Manager, to ensure the safety and good health of all involved in the production.
  • About 20% of Greece is made up of Islands.
  • Two thirds of Greece is covered with Mountains.
  • Greece is the Southernmost Country in Europe.
  • Greece is around the same size as Florida with approximately half the population.
  • Too much fish was eaten on this production!
  • The Film God! Gave us great weather, brought good luck, allowed us avoid earthquakes, flooding and natural disasters and introduced us to the wonderful people and landscape of Greece.
  • ‘Aerial Greece’ is a transformative journey.
  • The stars of the production were Greece and Fred!

Drone breakdown:

    • DRONE 1 – Main drone ‘Fred’ – DJI Inspire 2 fitted with a Zenmuse X7 camera using four lens – 16mm / 24mm / 35mm & 50mm.
    • DRONE 2 – Back up to ‘Fred’ – DJI Inspire 2 fitted with a Zenmuse X7 camera using four lens – 16mm / 24mm / 35mm & 50mm.
    • DRONE 3 – Small drone – DJI Mavic – used for low flying close to people and difficult locations where the bigger drone could not fly.
    • DRONE 4 & 5 – Two very small racing drones used only on special occasions where very high speed flying was required.

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